1760s Brunswick, 18th century, projects

Trimming the Brunswick

So the Brunswick project languished as I simply could not find a trimming idea I liked.  When I made the dress, I had decided I liked the longer 1760s waistcoat style, so that meant I needed to find a curvilinear trimming pattern to suit that era… but all the ideas that came to mind, and portraits that I liked, were more simple/straight 1770s styles (oh the woes of an attempted-historical-purist).  So, languish it did!

Until I recently rechecked one of those sources that I never look at anymore, because there are so many newer and spanglier resources out there — Visual History of Costume — which, whoa, had tons of portraits of Brunswicks in it!  Okay, maybe 3-4, but that’s tons!  And I found two from the 1760s that I really liked (sadly, can’t find color images online), which gave me good ideas for trimming the waistcoat and the skirt.  So I’ve cut out a bunch of self-fabric strips, and now I have a whole lot of whipped gathering to do.

Important side note: it’s embarrassing to admit, but until very recently, I didn’t know about whipped gathers *hangs head in shame*.  I could never figure out why my hand gathering looked like crap compared to extant 18th c. garments — the gathering never looked as controlled or tight, no matter my stitch length.  Oh, well, maybe that’s because they didn’t just do a running stitch… Sigh!  Oh well, at least now I know, and I am liking my gathering SO much better!

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Tilia November 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    What do you mean by whipped gathers? A gathering stitch? I’m not English and not every term is easy to find an explanation of.

  • Reply kendra November 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Good question, since I only recently found out! Katherine has a good video here that shows how to do it on a hemmed piece: http://vimeo.com/13284470

    If you’re doing it on a ruched strip of fabric, you would fold the fabric in half, do a long whipstitch down the fold, and then gather that up. I’ll try to take a picture to show what it looks like!

  • Reply merastra November 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Wow, whipped gathers; I had no idea either. Thanks for posting this! Do you think this works for late Victorian too?

  • Reply kendra November 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I think by late Victorian, if you mean 1870s onwards, they’d be doing gathering by machine — that’s why bustle dresses have all that crazy trimming, because you can do so much more by machine!

  • Leave a Reply to kendra Cancel Reply